DinoFest 2018 Speaker: Brent Breithaupt

DinoBite — 3:30 p.m.

"Bringing the Flying Reptiles Down to Earth: Tracking Pterosaur Footprints using Photogrammetry"


Photogrammetry, the science of making measurements from photographs, has been used to capture 3D data of tracks and trackways of pterosaurs and other dinosaurs by researchers for more than 20 years. Join Brent as he outlines how these data provide valuable information to better understand the terrestrial activities and behaviors of pterosaurs in the Jurassic West and around the world.

Brent Breithaupt is the Regional Paleontologist for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he oversees BLM paleontology policy for the State of Wyoming and region (Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Idaho), as well as Alaska. He also is part of a national team that develops and implements policy for the preservation and protection of paleontological resources on BLM-administered lands, using scientific principles and expertise. Brent did his undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his graduate work at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. His research focuses on the history of vertebrate paleontology in Wyoming and the West, and the documentation and understanding of the Mesozoic Era vertebrate faunas. In addition, he has worked successfully with other colleagues to pioneer the use of photogrammetry (using stereo photography) for the state-of-the-art documentation of fossil footprints (especially dinosaur and pterosaur tracks) throughout the West. Along with Neffra Matthews, he has provided training on this technique to other geoscientists, both in the United States and Europe. Currently, this technology is being used throughout the world for the digital documentation of both trace and body fossils. Prior to his position with the BLM, he was the Curator/Director of the University of Wyoming Geological Museum, where he worked for 29 years. He is a strong proponent of public awareness, ethical practices, and partnerships in the field of paleontology.

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